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Michael Wacht

TEDCRED 50+

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Where do you live, and why?

I entered a career in technology so that I could live anywhere. Now I find myself living and working a few miles from my childhood home. It's a nice area, but I'm not sure why I stay. So to better reflect on my own situation, I'm curious to know why you live where you live.

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  • Joe Dev

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    Jul 27 2011: Good point Danny. Prof. West blames cities for the world's negative environmental impacts when, in fact, city dwellers have a smaller carbon footprint than suburban or rural citizens.
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      Jul 27 2011: Interesting......can you point us to any study done on that topic ?
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      Jul 27 2011: I heard that recently. Originally read about the hypothesis here http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_greenest_place_in_the_us_may_not_be_where_you_think/2203/

      Recent follow up study: http://www.infrastructurist.com/2011/01/31/new-study-shows-that-suburbs-can-pollute-more-than-cities/

      Heating a small building where I live alone in an area with no practical public transportation says something about my carbon footprint.
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        Jul 27 2011: Michael, possibly, people living in cities have a smaller carbon footprint because of the reasons outlined in the 2 links you provided.
        However, emission is not the only thing that must be looked at, but also what happens to this emission.
        Since a city has much less vegetation per capita than the countryside, it would be reasonable to assume that the carbon binding capacity of a city is inferior to the countryside.
        So although, people on the countryside might produce more carbon emission per capita than a city dweller it might be more than set off by the surrounding vegetation.
        • Jul 30 2011: Harald,

          While that makes sense in a theoretical way, think about the numbers involved. In the US alone, there are close to 320M people. There is 10M k^^2. That is 3K^^2 per person. Take away the land that is not habitable. And the land needed for infrastructure, industry, food production. The rural/urban migration is about a lot of things. One of them is efficiency.
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        Aug 1 2011: Danny, not sure I understand what you mean. The fact is that if you emit pollutants, for example CO2 and there are not enough plants to metabolize it, then you will increase the amount of this pollutant in the environment. This is one of the reasons why big cities constantly suffer of air pollution (beside other things). In other words, what matters is not so much the quantity of pollutants per head, but the amount that cannot be in some way or the other neutralized by the environment.
        What did you mean with efficiency ?

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